8 Int'l Migration Rev. 5 (1974)

handle is hein.journals/imgratv8 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Canadian Migration and Immigration

Patterns and Government Policy*

by R. A. Jenness**

The 19th Century Roots

     The historical origins and cultural and economic development of both
 Canada and the United States have been conditioned and shaped by patterns of
 immigration and migration washing westward across the continent for close to
 four centuries. Most historians assign the 1850's as the take-off point for the
 United States economy', and the period after the Civil War and the introduction
 of the U.S. Homestead Act in 1862 as the period of great migration into the
 American midwest and on to the Pacific coast. For Canada, the massive surge
 came later, after the cattlemen, speculators, merchant traders and homesteaders
 had pre-empted the more hospitable lands to the south.
       Indeed throughout the late 19th century, Canada served as a filter for im-
 migrants flowing through to the American heartland. Men and women by the
 thousands sampled the cold austere Canadian climate and moved on. From 1861
 to 1901, roughly 1.8 million immigrants entered Canada and 2.5 million left2.
 The Canadian population grew at less than 12% per decade, compared to the
 U.S. average of close to 30% per decade.
     The year 1896 is usually given as the turning point for Canada's economic
 growth. True, for over a decade earlier, Canada had attracted substantial capital
 from abroad. Indeed, following Congress' example, the Canadian government
 made available vast land tracts to railway promoters, and underwrote most of
 the British capital borrowed against the future sale of western land to intrepid
 homesteaders. But after the brief flurry when the cold steel was laid down across
 the Precambrian over the Prairies and through the Rockies to the Pacific
 Northwest, the interest of settlers waned and they once again turned southward
 to the United States. But by 1896, most of the American mid-west was occupied.

 *Originally delivered at the C.M.S. Conference on Labor and Migration, Brooklyn College, March
 13-14, 1970, and subsequently updated.
 **R. A. Jenness, Economic Council of Canada, formerly Director, Planning & Evaluation Branch,
 Department of Manpower & Immigration, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
 'c.f. Kuznets, Simon, Modern Economic Growth: Rate, Structure and Spread; Yale University
 Press, New Haven, 1966; Kendrick, J. W., Productivity Trends in the United States, Princeton
 University Press, Princeton 1961; and North, Douglas C., Trends in the American Economy in the
 Nineteenth Century, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1960.
 'Canada; Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Canada One Hundred 1867-1967, Queen's Printer, Ot-
 tawa, 1967.

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